Yarra Valley, Koalas and the movies

If there happens to be a wine area near our travels, we always spend a day checking it out.  We are all into wine.  It is definitely a family thing and it is a wonderful way for all of us to learn more about the local regions.  Every evening we have been drinking wines from either Australia and New Zealand and discussing them so visiting Yarra Valley which is about an hour outside of Melbourne was a perfect thing to do. 

We began with Chandon.  Domaine Chandon does not only have vineyards in France.  The setting is beautiful similar to most of the architecture we have seen through out Melbourne. Lots of glass and steel with straight lines, no fuss. 

You can either sit down and have a flight of four different sparkling wines or roam through the room and doChampagne
a few tastes.  We sat down.  The dark red sparkling wine is made with the Shiraz grape which is indigenous to the area.  Perfect for either dessert or cheese.  The girls and I liked that one the best.

Next stop, Yering Station. Emily summed up this popular winery the best, "Good marketing, great food shop but the wine sucked."  Totally agree.

Luxe City Guides, our favorite travel guide, recommended having lunch at Tarrawarra Vineyard, so we did.   The restaurant similar in design to everything else, glass, steel, concrete and square.  The food was okay nothing to write home about but my guess is that it provides one of the better lunches in the area. 

Yarra Valley reminded me of Santa Barbara California.  The area is just starting to grow vs. areas that have been putting out wines for decades.  I’m not loving the Australian wines but as the years pass and the area ages, I hope to see the wines in the area get better and better.

Instead of seeing more vineyards, we decided to take a quick stop at the Healesville Sanctuary Zoo.  How could we come to Australia and not see any kangaroos or koalas? 

It was incredibly hot, I believe it is 113 degrees in St. Kildas that day down in Melbourne and we were in the wine valley.  All the animals are in large fenced in areas.  Although there were a variety of animals we could see, the heat was just overwhelming so we just took a peak at the kangaroos and koalas and got back into the air conditioned car.  Cute little guy, makes you want to bring one home until you see their claws.

By the time we got back to Melbourne, we just showered and went back out.  We went to Cookie.  Cookie is in a building that has a club and a fantastic rooftop cinema where we had tickets for later on. 

Cookie serves Thai food.  Honestly, the best Thai food I have had since Thailand.  Delicious, spicy andCookies_kitsch
authentic.  Reminded me of Spring Summer which was my favorite restaurant in Bangkok.  Cookies is totally kitsch.  Plastic plates, checkered table clothes, big open windows and a huge bar that takes over the entire length of the restaurant.  Over 65 types of beers which is perfect to cool down the spice.  Service is a tad slow so keeping your water glass full is not that easy.

After dinner, we walked up to the rooftop to see a movie at the Rooftop Cinema.  The film was Muholland Drive.  I forgot how quirky David Lynch films are.  Film starts at 930 when the sun goes down.  Menus are handed out with a variety of drinks and treats to order.  The best part is that on the top of the menu is a number where you can send them a test message so they can bring you a drink during the movie without  you having to get up.  Beautiful concept. 

We didn’t make it through the film.  It was pretty cold on the roof (after being record temperatures that day) although you can rent blankets for $5 a piece which we did but we were all shattered from the day.

The ideas of the day were that we should either open a rooftop cinema in NYC or buy a vineyard and make wine.  Neither of which I see happening in the near future.